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Lack of consultation results in WPG PS saga

IT is revealed that lack of consultations between the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS), the newly appointed PS for Western Province and its WPG Executive Government is the cause of a collision between two Provincial Secretary’s for the province.

The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) did not brief the newly appointed Provincial Secretary, Jeffery Wickham on his appointment which resulted in the Ministry not informing the WPG Executive in the first place, a reliable source from the MPGIS through the Permanent Secretary has revealed.

“On receiving his appointment letter, Mr Wickham went straight to his newly appointed Office in the WPG Executive Government without waiting for MPGIS to call him first.

This is so that he would have a briefing with the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary before he would travel to his newly appointed Office to meet the Premier as the head of the WPG Executive who will already be informed by then,” said the source.

According to the source, this is why there has been this mix-up as the Western Province Executive Government currently has its politically appointed PS Christian Salini’s contract still valid until November this year.

Western Province Premier Hon Wayne Maepioh slammed this issue in the Island Sun yesterday saying that it is the legality process that matters, of who is really appointed by the Ministry of Public Service Commission and MPGIS.

“The WPG Executive already has a politically appointed Provincial Secretary while waiting for the process of a new PS for the province by MPGIS,” said the Premier.

“It is this process that we are still waiting for and which we had never discussed causing the collision we are facing.

MPGIS had never informed us of the whole process that they have appointed a new PS for us so that we will sort out the timely exit of the Mr Salini,” he said.

“We should have been informed earlier of the new appointment so that we have time to sort out the politically appointed PS in informing and discussing with him on the date to leave before the newly appointed PS arrives.

“It will be inhuman and unofficial from my perspective just too automatically terminate Mr Salini’s contract just because we were suddened by the arrival of a newly appointed PS by the Ministry.

So we cannot drag the issue here to the legality process which will cause us to go out of the main context here,” added the Premier.

In elaborating, the Premier said as the host province, they should have been informed first that Mr Wickham is the new PS for Western Province. This is where his disappointment is.

“This is so that I would have been aware and if I was not present, I will tell the Deputy Premier to preside the new PS in briefing him also on what is the updates of the Executive Government,” said the Premier.

“So I want people to capture this clearly that this issue is not about legality as no one amongst us is arguing about the legality process.

“I am not trying to go against, question or nullify the powers of the Ministry of the Public Service Commission or even undermining what MPGIS are doing,” he said.

“What the situation currently is trying to build is a “nonsense insight political view” which is not good. It will cause hatred and embarrassment amongst us.

“I am concerned on the lapses of the consultation as the Head of the WPG. From non consultations is why these highly respected Officers (Mr Salini and Mr Wickham) have been victims of this issue,” added the Premier.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service yesterday said he will not give any comments as the situation is really for MPGIS to explain.

An attempt to get through to the current PS of Western Province Mr Wickham to get his side of the story and confirmations was not successful yesterday afternoon via phone.

According to Mr Christian Salini, the current PS in a recent interview with Island Sun Gizo over the issue said he is neutral and only humbly waiting for decision makings to be done.

It is understood that from the reasons causing this issue, the Premier of Western Province and his Executive government will now try to solve it as soon as possible in the best way for the WPG to move on forward positively with its development goals and targets for the province.

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